11 Day Eastern Danube River Cruise with Budapest 2021 (Budapest to Giurgiu, Monarch Countess)
11 days with Gate 1 Rating: Deluxe
River Cruise Itinerary
DAY 1, Thursday - Depart for Hungary Depart for Hungary.
DAY 2, Friday - Arrive in Budapest Arrive in Budapest. The remainder of the day is at leisure to discover Buda and Pest in this elegant city with its wealth of historic monuments linked by eight graceful bridges. This evening, enjoy a Welcome Drink and orientation meeting with your local host at the hotel at approximately 6 PM, followed by a briefing about the journey. We recommend that you select flights which arrive in your destination no later than 4 PM on Day 2 or earlier, if possible.
DAY 3, Saturday - Budapest City Tour Your morning tour begins on the Pest side of the city; view the Parliament, City Park and Heroes Square. Cross to Buda to see the Royal Palace, Matthias Church and the graceful medieval architecture along the cobbled streets. Explore the city's wonderful shops and cafes this afternoon on your own. Tonight, an optional dinner and show in Budapest. Travel to the outskirts of Budapest for a traditional Hungarian Dinner in a scenic forested location. While dining, you'll be entertained by colorfully dressed dancers performing a variety of spirited folk dances accompanied by a group playing live music. (Breakfast)
Optional: Dinner & Show in Budapest (PM)
DAY 4, Sunday - Holloko City Tour & Cruise Embarkation Travel to the charming village of Holloko (meaning raven-stone) hidden in the Cserhát hills in northeastern Hungary. Take a walking tour of the historic village, a fine example of a preserved traditional settlement and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Experience the typical rural life of the Palóc people and see craftsmen at work. Spend free time in the village and perhaps try some Palóc dishes for lunch before heading back to Budapest. This afternoon, transfer to the port to embark your cruise. Tonight, meet your Cruise Director and enjoy a gala welcome dinner as it sets the mood for your delightful river cruise. (Breakfast, Dinner)
DAY 5, Monday - Puszta Horse Show Awake this morning in Kalocsa, Hungary, a picturesque town that specializes in the production of paprika. One of the oldest towns in Hungary, Kalocsa is well-known for the horse shows of Puszta, in the rural region of the country. View an exciting show as you experience the countryside. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 6, Tuesday - Vukovar & Osijek Arrive in Vukovar, the largest river port in Croatia. Spend the day learning about both the ancient and recent history of the area. The region is full of culture, with numerous museums conveying the story of Vukovar's chaotic past. Visit Osijek, the economic and cultural center of the eastern Croatian region of Slavonia. During lunch, set sail to Novi Sad, the second largest city in Serbia, offering picturesque architecture and vibrant night life, elected to be the European Capital of Culture in 2021. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 7, Wednesday - Belgrade City Tour Explore the highlights of Belgrade and learn about the city’s turbulent history and architecture. Visit the imposing Kalemegdan Fortress dramatically situated at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers and the lovely park surrounding it. Perhaps, continue to the Republic Square and view the National Theatre, National Museum and the Prince Mihail monument. Stroll along Knez Mihajlova street, the main pedestrian and shopping zone in the city. Afterwards, arrive at the Vracar Plateau to view the Saint Sava Temple, the largest Orthodox Church in the city. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 8, Thursday - Iron Gates & Scenic Sailing Spend the day admiring the picturesque countryside as your travel eastward. Soak in the history as you view the Carpathian and Balkan mountain ranges. Sail through the famed Iron Gates, a gorge that contains a pair of hydroelectric dams and power stations. It is easy to understand why visitors flock to this stunning gorge. The landscape around the area is truly breathtaking. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 9, Friday - Full Day in Vidin Cross the border into Bulgaria early this morning and arrive in the port town of Vidin. Today a guided tour explores this town with its many historic and cultural landmarks such as the Baba Vida Fortress and the town’s Mosque. Be sure to sample the regional wine, as Vidin is known for its fertile climate ideal for the production of premium wine grapes. Perhaps join the optional Belogradchik Rocks & Medieval Fortress*. Travel through the scenic countryside to the fortress of Belogradchik built by the Romans and expanded over the years by Bulgarian and Ottoman rulers. The fortress also known as Kaleto, is one of the best-preserved fortresses in the country, The view from the fortress of the surrounding fascinating sandstone rock formations is breathtaking. Free time to explore on your own before a panoramic drive through the historic part of Vidin, that includes brief stops at some of the city’s landmarks. Sail away mid-afternoon. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
*Passengers who choose this optional, will not be able to participate in the included tour of Vidin.
DAY 10, Saturday - Ruse City Tour Today explore Ruse, one of Bulgaria's most elegant cities, brimming with history from the Ottoman Empire. Enjoy a walking tour and view the building of the Tax Administration with its wonderful facade, adorned with seven different symbolic figures on the roof. You could step back in time during a visit to the Kaliopa House, preserved from the late 19th century. Or, journey south on the optional tour of the village of Arbanassi in Veliko Tarnovo. This soaring village atop a high peak exemplifies the Bulgarian National Revival architectural movement. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Optional: Full Day Veliko Tarnovo & Arbanassi
DAY 11, Sunday - Depart Romania This morning, your vacation ends after breakfast. The Bucharest airport is approximately a 2 hour drive from the port. Disembarkation will end at 9:30 AM. (Breakfast)
River Cruise Highlights
During your Budapest City Tour, see the Parliament, Heroes Square, Royal Palace and Matthias Church
Visit the charming village of Holloko
View an exciting horse show in Pustzta, Hungary
Enjoy an authentic Serbian dinner and folklore dancing
Explore the highlights of Belgrade, a city with turbulent history
Sail through the famed Iron Gates, flanked by the Carpathian and Balkan mountain ranges
Discover the history in Ruse, dating back to the Ottoman Empire
All This Included
9 nights accommodations
River port charges of $190 per person
22 meals: 9 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners
Cruise director & activities host throughout cruise
Local host in Budapest
Services of local guides in all major cities
Shore excursions per itinerary
Entrance fees per itinerary
Comfortable wireless earphones for enhanced touring during excursions
River Cruise Features & Amenities
Gala Welcome Dinner and Farewell Dinner
Wine and beer with dinners
Locally inspired recipes
Early riser breakfast in addition to buffet breakfast
Late night snack
Complimentary Wi-Fi access in public areas
Self-serve coffee and tea station
Lounge serving premium spirits
Non-smoking ship interior
Shore excursions conducted exclusively in English
Accommodations on this Tour
Budapest: InterContinental Budapest
Cruising: Cabin onboard Monarch Countess
Cruise only price does not include arrival/departure transfers. Budapest to Giurgiu: Passengers returning from Bucharest on Day 11 should select flights that depart no earlier than 11 AM. Giurgiu to Budapest: Passengers arriving to Bucharest on Day 2 should select flights that arrive no later than 2 PM. Transfers to Giurgiu will depart at approximately 9 AM, 11 AM, 1 PM and 3 PM. Due to physical constraints and space limitations, wheelchairs and walkers are not allowed on motor coaches and/or river cruises. While sailing with Monarch Cruises, passengers are subject to the cruise's Terms & Conditions.
Know Before You Book - High & Low Water European river cruising has gained in popularity for very good reason. It's a relaxing and convenient way to experience Europe while enjoying the comfort of a deluxe ship. However, before making the decision to reserve your vacation, please be aware of potential conditions which may impact your cruise. While most of the time river cruises operate exactly as planned, weather conditions may result in high or low water levels which impact a ship's itinerary and, on occasion, render a ship unable to sail at all. On very rare occasions, other events such as heavy fog, a damaged lock, or an incapacitated vessel blocking the river, may impact a sailing. These events typically occur with little or no notice. In the event that a cruise is partially or completely impacted, the itinerary will be operated by deluxe motor coach, accompanied by a Tour Manager, with overnights in hotels. When the option exists, the operator will "swap ships" with another vessel sailing in the opposite direction, retaining the sailing experience. Crew, ship and cabin configuration may differ. The itinerary will include as many of the originally scheduled sightseeing features as possible, considering the travel time and distances required, as well as meals. While it is not possible to recreate the more leisurely comforts of sailings, we will endeavor to provide a comparable itinerary. These alternative services will be provided at no additional charge.
This moderately active trip covers a fair amount of ground each day. Expect from three to four hours walking every touring day. The pace is moderate, however you will encounter some uneven surfaces, stairs, steps and significant slopes. There is a potential for a small number of sailings to be impacted by river water levels, or other factors which may impact safe navigation. This may cause part or all of the cruise itinerary to be operated by motor coach and may also involve hotel accommodations.
Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines. Sorry, we are unable to offer air from countries other than the U.S. However, for those international customers who are able to arrange their own transportation to the trip origination city, we are able to offer the land/cruise portion of the package at the price quoted.